Underworld Ascendant - Update #1 Live

The first major update for Otherside Entertainment's recently released dungeon crawler Underworld Ascendant is now live on Steam. The update completely overhauls the game's save system, revamps its combat mechanics and enemy AI, introduces some quest-related improvements, and fixes a good deal of miscellaneous issues.

The complete patch notes are quite extensive, so here's just a taste of what to expect:

Save Game System
We've completely overhauled Underworld Ascendant’s save game system based on player feedback.

This new system saves the following:
World State
  • Enemies, chests, doors, levers, chandeliers, torches, sconces, braziers, and water level will save their states and location
  • All spawned items (e.g., weapons, food, etc.) including location and position
  • Silver Sapling location and status
  • Enemy Health
  • Enemy status effect with durations
  • Door damage
  • Combustibles will remain lit
  • Gate / Portcullis state (up / down / in transit)
Quest State
The new system will save and restore the current state of the quest, including the required items and enemies as necessary. If a player saves after finishing objectives, this objective will be saved.

Player State
  • Position, rotation, crouching
  • Current health/damage
  • Current Mana
  • Status effects
  • Inventory
  • Hotbar
  • Stash
  • Known spells
  • Faction Favor
  • Influence
  • Completed quests
  • Skills
  • Held items
  • Player session stats associated with level progress (e.g., enemies killed)
  • Existing player stats associated with prior level progress
A few things are not saved:
  • Arrows that are not at rest
  • Spells in the middle of being cast
Important Note: Saving is disabled when the player is off the ground or within 15 meters of enemies

We made many updates to Combat in Underworld Ascendant as further outlined below. We have also made a few improvements to AI and have plans for more AI enhancements in the next update.
  • Directional attacks are available at level zero without their status effects and they do the same amount of damage as a heavy attack. We’ve revised the previous skills granting directional attacks as follows (Swords / Axes and Maces / Unarmed):
  • Blade Master / Mighty Blows / Fists of Iron - heavy left and right attacks now stagger enemies (LMB + Left and LMB + Right)
  • Fighter’s Fury / Bloody Barrage / Fists of Fury - heavy forward attacks now stun, and heavy back attacks knock enemies down (LMB + W and LMB + S)
  • Deft Maneuvers / Savage Maneuvers / Shielded Strike - holding heavy attacks longer charges up the attack and does a bleeding over time extra damage (hold LMB longer)
  • Light attacks do a bit more damage (20% more)
  • Light attacks if spammed have a reminder tooltip every 10 swings explaining the difference between light swings (tapping LMB) and heavy swings (holding and releasing LMB)
  • Unskilled Heavy attacks no longer stagger opponents
  • Pluto’s Gate received a combat tuning update: Spectral Knights (skeletons in chainmail) have been replaced by Spectral Warriors (skeletons with sickles and bows, who are now slightly weaker and do less damage) and some Spectral Warriors have been replaced by Spectral Thugs (headless skeletons, who are now weaker and unable to block).
  • Combat VFX are now more visible: VFX Blood is brighter and VFX Collision FX are bigger – this goes for Stone, Wood and Bone impacts.
  • Short swords have a bit larger attack colliders so they will connect hits more reliably
  • We made tweaks to enemy stagger behavior during combat so they don’t get stuck on the defensive all the time
  • Physics damage has been increased, making throwing objects at enemies a good strategy.
  • Enemies now react better when they are hit with a thrown object
  • Arrows should now working correctly in The Underswamp
  • Outcasts teleport less often in and out in combat and have better flee point checking.
  • Spectral Warriors no longer attack inanimate objects (like torches and doors) when damaged by them.
Quests and Levels
We made updates and improvements to the levels and quests in the game as follows:
  • Removed many immersion-breaking holes and seams in the world
  • AI population pass on all levels to better balance encounters and provide more and more varied creatures to fight.
  • Later levels are now accessible earlier in the game due to changes we made to the doom counter.
  • More to do and see on the first two main quests
  • LODs adjusted to reduce graphical popping on higher end machines
  • Gather quest items now have a map region highlighted
  • Many enhancements to Upper Eberus
  • Moved hub lever to a more interesting spot
  • Made an easier connection to the top floor in the Ruins of Gwern
  • Fix spike room trap
  • More interesting way into transitional 2 façade
  • Fix traps on path toward Necrotic Graveyard
  • Call out first pungie trap
  • See into first cell from entry
  • More prison theming in murgo’s prison
  • Bring cohesion and purpose to set dressing in murgos
  • No way out of first drop down room
  • Trap left path to gibbet cages
  • Guard station up the guard station-stealth
  • Clear death at the bottom of the incessant pit
  • Puzzle to enter the tomb
  • Traps in the tomb
  • Wooden verticality in necrotic graveyard
  • Clearer lead to tomb side entry
  • Fix hole above typhon chest in tomb